Electoral Reform Society and Missing Voices project logosToday, 10th July 2017, the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) spearheads a national conversation with people across Wales about voting and what politics means to them.

‘Missing voices’ will find out how people feel about politics in Wales and why so many people still don’t vote.

They want to talk to as many people as possible over the next few months, with the findings of the project reported in the autumn.

Why do we need ‘Missing Voices’?

Having already been to the polling stations for 3 elections and a ‘once in a lifetime’ referendum on Europe in just a year, the people of Wales were asked to vote again in the General Election on June 8th.

Four elections and a referendum – in thirteen months.

June’s General Election saw a three percent rise in turnout in Wales from 2015 and reports suggest that includes a significant peak for young voters. It definitely seemed different from other recent General Elections and for the first time in recent memory, galvanised voters.  

Despite the ‘high’ turnout, a significant proportion of the electoral still didn’t vote. Even at the most ‘successful’ votes of recent years, the EU referendum, where turnout reached 71.7% in Wales, we still know that 643,353 people who could have voted did not.

Politics is in a state of monumental change. You could argue it’s never had a higher profile, appearing constantly on the media and our social media. Yet, despite this, a significant proportion of people in Wales do not vote. While voting alone doesn’t ensure a healthy democracy, it’s surely a starting point that many in Wales are missing out on.

It’s time something is done to improve our stretched democracy, it’s time to have a national conversation about how we improve it and how we get more people involved and that’s why they are launching ‘Missing voices’.

How ‘Missing Voices’ will work

The project will use everything from online surveys, Facebook group chats, face-to-face focus groups, as well as getting out and talking to people on the street, to gather peoples views.

ERS has also joined forces with the Electoral Commission, NUS Wales, Cymorth Cymru, Llamau, RNIB Cymru, ProMo-Cymru, Chwarae Teg, the Welsh Government, the National Assembly for Wales, The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), Citizens Advice, Open Government Network Wales and Swansea Council for Voluntary Service on the project.

It’s a chance for you to have your say, to tell them what you think, to make a difference, to improve things and to help make change.

How to take part in ‘Missing Voices’

There are a number of ways you can take part in ‘Missing Voices.

Tell them your views by clicking here to fill in an online survey

Tell ERS who they need to speak to in your community and they’ll try to organise a focus group.

Support the project by donating to it - your money means they can engage with more people and hear their views: http://ers.do/donate-voices

If you have any questions about this project or would like further information please email: Matthew.Mathias@electoral-reform.org.uk